Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

It's the final day of 2010. What a ride. I have so much to share and yet time is of the essence. I typically take the last couple days of the year to contemplate, ponder, recollect and record my experiences. This year has been different in so many ways. I've experinced amazing lessons, some that brought me to my knees, some lifting me well beyond my comfort zone! I've laughed until I cried and cried until I thought I had no tears left. I've lived with my whole heart, unconditionally allowing it, rather than my mind to guide me. It serves me well, without emotions and heart, my life would be extremely cold and uncomfortable.

I took this picture from our back deck. It's one of my favorite views and often shows up on my facebook profile. I look at this view several times a day and even then, no picture is ever the same. There's a lot of symbology here. The sun coming through the haze, though the natural world appears to be still and lifeless. The torch lamp reminds us that summer is around the corner, yes it's still down the road a bit, but the hint of warmth, good times and being outdoors beckons from the depths of those winter drifts.

My intention for the year relates to that lamp. I am here to be a light; a light for myself, for my family and friends. If I can do one thing to life someone's spirits, make another laugh, smile or come into a new awareness of themselves, life and love, then I've done my job. I have much to think about and much that I still want to accomplish but I am taking a cure from the offering of the winter season and that is to lay low, take rest and rejuvinate. I've been on one heck of a roller coaster ride and I am ready to sit and fully ponder it all.

In these moments as we prepare to close the chapter on 2011, I want to take a moment to wish all of my fabulous blog readers a prosperous New Year. I am delighted that you've been drawn to these words written here. I have no idea how many people actually read this little gem but I want to express my gratitude for the WONDERFUL comments that have come my way. I LOVE to write/share in this way. If you know someone who would enjoy, please, please feel free to pass along this link to your friends and family. I know that I don't get to visit with many of you in person so I am delighted that we can keep up through the cre8tive cowgirl blog. Know that you are loved and appreciated, each and every one of YOU!

So saddle up those ponies and ride! We'll see you on the other 2011


Thursday, December 30, 2010

First Cash.........

Chad came in last night with a large smile on his face. In "Polar Express" style he announced, "The first gift from chickens"................! Translated this means that I sold my first couple dozens of eggs!

We are now getting about 9 eggs a day and have way more than what we can use, so I am selling to those interested in buying farm fresh eggs and I do mean FRESH! It's been a number of years since I've had the joy of feasting on fresh eggs and I must say it is a treat. The yolks are a dark, gorgeous orange, not yellow like the ones in the store. These girls are fed very good grain and luscious green scraps of veggies that they devour quickly. I'll be expanding my culinary skills as soon as I get a few things caught up. I have some custards, cheese cakes and other goodies that I am going to bake up. First thing is to get this house back in shape!

Break time is over. Hope you are enjoying the remainder of 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In Recovery

He feels.well enough to shop at Cabela's. I guess that is a good sign. We went for a check-up on the shoulder; aside from a nasty allergic reaction to the adhesive, tripping over the coffee table, and not able to sleep well in a chair, I'd say he is recovering well. Shopping for guns and ammo seems to be the therapy of well as "passenger side driving"! He hasn't lost his talent for that since the last surgery! Is it May yet?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Looks Like a Bunch of Numbers......?

This is what I am up to today; I've spent the morning working on Ki Energy Reports. It's a little thing I do to assist others in knowing how to work with the themes/energies that arrive each month. Though many issues appear to arise in our lives randomly, there's actually a realistic explanation behind it all. This little "map" has helped me (and many others)  make sense of both rewarding and challenging situations. It's not voodoo and it certainly ain't magic. It IS a great tool to help us get to where we're wanting to go, expand our awareness and help us slow down long enough to appreciate the life we have the wonderful, amazing people within it.

I do this every month for clients and friends that request a preview........I'm really glad I took a look at my personal ki energies...........HOLY COW! I'm just going to forget about having any down time for a while. If I don't have that expectation, then it'll just be a nice surprise when/if it shows up. Looks like I am on for a really rockin', transformational time. I'm going to cinch my stampede string down tight..........I'll keep ya'll updated. I've got some important choices that will be coming down to the wire this week.

In the mean time, I have a tree to take down, a kitchen to clean up, a house to undecorate, laundry to wash/dry/fold, children to feed, animals to care for and errands to get done. I've contemplated keeping the Christmas decoartions up for another month, partly because this is a busy week and I'm not sure that I have enough blocks of time to get everything put away neatly and the other part is that I adore the holiday decorations, I'm always a little sad to put them away.

It's almost a new year though and I want to start it off clutter free and as organized as possible. I feel and think better when my home/space is neat and tidy and takes on a spacious appearance........I can't help it, that is the Feng Shui training in me! I need all the clarity I can get! The sad part is my cleaning efforts usually don't last longer than 12 hours, or the next time I cook.

Here's wishing you a wonderful week, wrapping up the final days of 2010!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Johnston Family!

Here's wishing you a very bright, fun, and festive holiday season! We've started the morning off right with baking fresh cookies for the "man in red" tonight. He'll be treated to peppermint bark, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and...........delicious goat's milk! I might have to whip up cinnamon GML (Goat Milk Latte) so he'll be sure to stay awake the rest of the night.

Our tradition includes eating an early supper, unwrapping a few gifts and then heading off to our little country Church for midnight mass (at 8:30!) We'll celebrate with our friends and then return home to sleep all snuggled in our beds (or chair for Chad!) Tomorrow we'll wake up to stuffed stockings and Santa's treasures then we'll head north to visit family. I am looking forward to seeing our loved ones though I dread the packing and unpacking, it takes much effort to get this crew on the road in winter time. The best place for me to be is right inside my house. I have no problem packing up the camper and gear to travel about the country in warm weather; winter/cold makes me want to hibernate!

So no mattere where you hang your Santa hat tonight, may you be abundantly blessed with joy in your heart, peace in your home and the Spirit of Christmas all around. Happy Christmas one and all!

PS. I want to share a special thanks with my friend Ann. She is our family photographer and one of the few people that my kids (Pryce) will smile for! She does a fabulous job of working with very different personalities and capturing beautiful, creative poses! If you are looking for a personal photographer with creative insight, attention to details and precise editing......she's got it! Please visit,  email or call Ann @ 402.7501655.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas........

Pecos and I just finished our rounds outside. We made sure the hens were all nestled in a clean coop and that the goats had plenty of hay. They have a perfectly good little shed, I'm not sure why they aren't huddled up in the corner; if I were a goat I would be. Either that or I would do that annoying little bleating sound until someone came and rescued me and brought me into their nice cozy house. Clearly I don't think like a goat do I?! The only time I hear that sound out of them is when they want to eat. Once the hay hits their stomach, they are content.

We gathered six eggs today! One was a monster of an egg, delivered by one of the red hens. It's a delicious chocolate brown and was nice and warm to the touch. I held it to my face as it made a nice little cheek warmer. I do love gathering fresh eggs right out of the nest.

Today was spent working on my tech issues. I have had frustrating issues with my cell phone and have been fighting with it for nearly a year. I don't love it but I've gotten by. I am trying a new one out. I don't love it either. I am not sure that I like a touch screen. Time will tell I suppose but already it is frustrating me too. Then to top it faithful, wonderful, old reliable friend, aka the Kirby vacuume cleaner QUIT!!!! Are you kidding me? What did I do to deserve this horrible catastrophe?! (I'm sort of joking here!) This device is one of my all time favorites and I use it daily. We three kids that cannot hit their mouths it is an essentail. I use it daily. I have no idea how we'll survive (*again, slight humor/sarcasm) This just adds to the frustration as I am not in the mood to spend any more money and certainly not excited about trying to find a Kirby repairman over the holidays! And you can probably imagine what this place will look like if I go without.

Ok. Another deep breath. Since this blog isn't "sugarcoated" I sure hope your day was sweet and that right about now, you are preparing to dive into something tasty and delicious. I rarely drown my misery with food but tonight, tonight, I just may crawl into an oreo ball. Rats.........I haven't made those yet. One more thing to do!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mama's Elves!

Oh the joys of Christmas vacation; messy house, fighting kids, temper tantrums......aaaehem, I mean...YAY the kids are HOME!!!!

Seriously, I do love having all my babies here in the nest! The key to getting HAPPILY through the holidays is keeping these three busy. After chores this morning I put them to work cutting and stuffing."The Boss" (not me) was directing the show, telling his little sister that she wasn't cutting the slips of paper correctly. This in turn made BS pout, cry and put on a "drama show". She also received and escort to her room for a bit. The middle/mild mannered child just made himself a cup of coffee and took it all in! Oh my, We've got quite a range of personalities in this household.

We're not doing a formal Christmas letter this year, instead there's a little slip of paper that leads right to this here little 'ol blog! Instead of a once-a-year update, our family and friends now have access to a daily check in if they so choose. (If you are already a blog reader and you happen to receive a boring white slip of paper, it also makes a dandy bookmark!)

Today's "keeping the kids busy" events include getting our Christmas pictures letters ready for the post office, house cleaning, laudry catch up, tidying (in every room) wrapping and baking. You know, all that stuff that a mom wants to get done so she can relax and enjoy the holiday, kind a thing! Also included is keeping them out of my office, off of my guitar and violin (noise pollution!!!!!) away from the tv/movie, keeping them from tearing each other's hair out, keeping me from tearing my hair out, remembering to breathe and generally not freaking out because this is not my normal daily routine. SERENITY NOW! OK. I think I'm better. I can go back to the kids, kitchen and cleaning. Wish me luck, I'm sure it's going to a memorable holiday season!

PEACE and Blessings!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Note To Self

This is a great reminder, don't you think? Easier said than done least for me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crafty Gifts

This is just one of the fun little cards I'm making this year for friends. I found a great site that has vitange images and I am having SO much fun with them (wait 'til I post the adroable kitchen/cooking and hen party stamps........FUN, FUN, FUN!)

In addtion to my love for goats, chickens/eggs, knitting and all things garden, I dearly love scrapbooking and card making. I dreamed up this little vision back in September but due to a very accelerated fall, I'm just now getting to putter in my craft room. I love using the Grinch green and berry reds. I couldn't help up add a touch of gold sparkle either. The monogram pin comes off and can be placed on a sweater or scarf. Each one is different and I don't yet have a favorite.................but there was something pretty cool about this design for my friend Colleen. I never know what anything is going to look like. I don't have a map or a guide. I pretty much just sit down and let it "flow"! So even I am surprised when it turns out (again, I am easily entertained, aren't I?!)

I have a few more of these babies to whip out. So far I've taken kids to school. Delivered a few packages and cards, did chores (almost 2 cups of milk today and three eggs this morning, did two loads of laundry, wrapped a few packages, went to BS's Chrismas program (ADORABLE!) made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and planned the final Christmas eve menu (this is my lunch break at 2 pm!)  The guys are loading out our calves and cows to take to corn stalks and the ranch. Chad won't be able to do much until March so we're removing the temptation to work (I hope it works. I've already caught him in the tractor and attempting to wrap gifts with one hand. This is one man that just doesn't stay down for long. God help him heal soon!)

I have a few appointments in town and some last minute gift shopping tomorrow. After that it's just a little wrapping and a lotta baking. I'm waiting until my chef (Sparky) is out of school. He's taken an eager interest in cooking and so I'm going to put him to work~there's plenty of it! He's mentioned cooking up a dish that involves candy canes, chips and shrimp (eeeewwww!) I'm trying to steer him away from that and into a yam dish of some sort!

I always think right about now that I should start working on Christmas to-do's in July. I may do that in 2011. Maybe then I'd actually feel like I was ready?!?! Perhaps being busy adds to the excitment?!

If you are looking for a last minute craft project, think of a card and a pin. Use scraps of ribbon, a vintage tag, glue and sparkles, I bet you'll come up with something great! Send me a picture of your creation and consider joining me for a crafter's weekend in January.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Milk n Eggs? We Got 'Em!

Two of the "staples" that we are continually using are those pictured above. We no longer have to buy these from the store; obtaining them requires walking only a few steps across the driveway and doing 15 minutes or less of care twice a day. Pretty simple.

The milking part does dictate that we are on site a bit more but that too is easy enough. We don't travel as much as we used to; as the kids are getting older it's easier to stay in one place. My gypsy vibrations have done dormant (but easily re-awaken with the right conditions!)

Several years ago I started researching what it would take to transition into a more self-sufficient lifestyle. I've been on this path for a long time now but this THIS is the first time I've had tangible results. I have to smile when I see this old blue bowl bursting with farm fresh eggs! It is a dream come true and it hasn't been easy. I suppose that is what makes me appreciate it more.

I've had dreams of starting a CSA. I don't know if I have the energy for such endeavors. I'm the kind of girl that has more fun searching for vintage items to decorate her farm stand with than actually selling anything! Paperwork? No thanks! Jumping through a lot of hoops just "aint my bag baby!" I'd love to sell produce and crafts to people who genuinely want such items but I've never been one to "solicit" business. If it comes easily, great. If not, I'm sure a different dream will manifest.

Right now, I'm content to enjoy fresh eggs and milk on a daily basis. Next month I'll start browsing through seed catalogs and start planning my garden. I'm missing my fresh veggies. Eventually I'll have a greenhouse and some cold frames here so I can enjoy lettuce and spinach in December. That's another "down the road" goal.

I have several opportunities that have presented themselves in the last couple of months. At this point I've not decided any particular career path. I'll sit with such choices a bit longer. I have much to think about. This is what I DO know; Santa is going to be served goat's milk right along with those sugar cookies!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Up To Five Now!

Chores around here are a lot easier 1. With help (Pecos is becoming an amazing assistant!) 2. With sunshine. Even when it's cold and my fingers are chilly, I'm a lot happier with a little sunshine shining down.

Chores are not easier with the new "stink-a-pottamus" billy goat. Oh how he needs a bath....or something. Pee-uuu! We've honored the eastern tradition by renaming him Ramses, since we have Egypt and Summeria. He's calm for a buck and integrating well. Not sure he's my favorite. I could find him of he ever got loose....just follow the stink.

The best news of all is.....we are up to five eggs a day. It's so exciting when the girls start dropping eggs! We're about ready to offer some for sale. We're have plenty for our own use; I'm now researching egg recipes (if you have a favorite, please consider sharing with other readers and send ideas my way!)

Chad is doing fine. He's sore but that's to be expected. His shoulder has needed attention for some time now so he's glad that the surgery is over. Now, on to healing.

We are headed to a basketball game. Sparky is playing at halftime. BS will stay home to be her dad's health care assistant (she's actually really good!) She'll get him ice, and snacks and answer his phone too.

I'm looking forward to a day iin my craftroom tomorrow. I'll post some cute card/gifts that I'm working on for friends.

First though, I think I'd better shower. Darned if I don't smell like that goat. Gross!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just In Case

Since we're gone for Chad's shoulder surgery today and the Shelf Elf hasn't arrived yet, I've provided behavior instructions along with lumps of coal near the little stockings, hung with care!

Will I need such "props"? Probably not. BS has her Ga to entertain all day (her dream come true!) And the boys are at school practicing for their Christmas program. It was fun to threaten them though.....I suppose there's a bit of elfish humor coursing through my veins!

Christmas is just around the corner so a Mama must use all of her resources. If anyone is interested in adopting this strategy, I happen to know a great place to obtain coal. It is a day's drive or so to get there, so do pack a lunch.

Here's to finding only treasures in your stocking!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty much sums up my day.....

Crazy! Silly! Fun! You know, I'm just about to Roll On The Floor Laughing!

Won't you join me?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Yummy-Ummy Cheesy Bread

I'm a bit late with today's post; though I doubt anyone is holding me accountable and holding a deadline above my head. Probably wouldn't work anyway, at least not this week. I'm in the midst of another busy month. Thankfully we are all feeling good. I kept my young daughter at home today thinking she had the flu, she was very "clingy" and complained of a tummy ache so I thought it best she say with Mama. I should have sent her......little miss ball of energy and mischief!

I am pounding away on the key board today, doing those necessary things involved with career and daily life. I have an office to shape up, a basement that needs severe attention and a craft room that has once again become messy~I think the only way to keep this place neat and tidy would be to move out! Even then, the dust would likley overtake the place and I'd be complaining about that!

I did enjoy a brief period of rest yesterday. Chad and I "tweaked" a few things in the hen house. I am happy to report my coop is complete. We installed hinges for the adorable little roost and added a necessary electric waterer. The temperature this morning was a balmy 11 degress above zero. Our counterparts in the northern and eastern part of the state got snow over the weekend, luckily we did not. I spent a glorious morning outside yesterday watching my chickens peck and scratch. After chores, I filled a big mug of hot coffee and plopped my behind on top of the tomato tank to watch the antics of my birds. How fun! (I know, it really takes very little to entertain me.) I realized that this was a moment I've been waiting to enjoy for a long, long time! I've been so focused on getting everything organized, done, completed, set, fixed, situated and all the above that I hadn't really stoped to ENJOY! I think I spent the better part of an hour out there, and then went through the rest of my day smiling and feeling quite refreshed. I may need to head back out to the coop. My boys just got home and they are loud!!! I can tell I'm going to need to channel "super mommy power" to get through this evening!

So without further ado, let me share with you this fabulous cheesy bread. It's "da bomb" baby!

Cheesy Bread

1 loaf bakery French bread
8 oz. pkg. sliced Swiss cheese or American slices or a combination of both
2 T. onion, chopped
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. poppy seeds
1 t. season salt
2 sticks margarine, melted

*kitchen scissors
*wet wash cloth

Using a serrated bread knife, cut slits in the breakd, going all the way through. Spray foil with Pam, and put the break on a large piece of foil, then on a cookie sheet. In the slits place pieces of cheese. I take the slices out and cut them hin half with kitchen sheers. I then put either one or two half slices in between each slit. Combine the last 5 ingredients and pour over the bread. Wrap the foil around the bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Let the bread cool slightly and then cut slices apart. The slices can then be halved to smaller pieces. The bread is a delicious, sticky, gooey mess! (I just sliust want you to be prepared!) It won't last long though so be sure to grap your piece right away!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not Thinkin About Food Today

I've said it before and it's worth mentioning again, thank goodness for mobile blogging; if it weren't for this phone, there would be a lot less posts.

I can't make it to the computer right now, my little BS has the flu. Her brother and I had it last night.

Uncle Chad and Cotter went to Maywood to get feed and the boys are playing downstairs.

I was going to post pictures of cheesy bread today is not appealing to me at this moment. Please pass the violet tea instead.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Get Your Crunches In

All I want for Christmas is……….Granola! And maybe a few other items?! This recipe is an easy one to whip up and is sure to delight the taste buds! This is an excellent, healthy, packable snack. It’s great on cereal, fantastic sprinkled on ice cream and just darn delicious to munch!

I found this recipe in one of my favorite new books, “The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen, by Terri Edwards and Serena Thompson. It’s a great book, with several tasty recipes and great country decorating tips. It’s given me inspiration in my decorating scheme and revived my love of all things “retro”!

As I mentioned yesterday, this tasty treat could be poured into pint or quart sized jars, wrapped with a festive ribbon and given as gifts. It also makes a great snack for your holiday gatherings and best of all………it’s healthy. I find the nuts to be especially grounding and can help counterbalance all the sugar that is being ingested in the next three weeks!

Happy Crunching!

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup packed brown suagar
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the granola: Heat the oven to 325 F. Combin the oats, coconut, and peacans in a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Bake the granola: Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Speak the mix in the pan. Bake until browned, about 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a large spatula. Cool in the pan on a wire rack; then stir once more. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (but it probably won’t last that long!)

*I make two batches at the same time, just because I had a feeling it would go fast……..and I was right. I make this for BS’s preschool snack and it was a big hit. I also took it up to my family’s house when I went for a visit. My brother stole the bag, thinking it was all his. Our friend, Heath, then stole it from him! And somehow, a small amount of it ended up coming home with me…… it got back in my cooler is a total mystery………..!

This is a great recipe to keep in mind for the summer months as well. Instead of buying expensive trail mix, mix up this instead and then add other ingredients according to your personal tastes! (I prefer butter brickle bits in it when I'm hiking!)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Visit To Aunt Robyn's House

Let me introduce you to my sweet nephew, Cotter. He and his older brothers will be staying with us for a few day while their mommy and daddy take a little trip. It's been a while since we've had a little one around here. Aunt Robyn has forgotten what it is like!

We always have fun when the nephews come to stay. My boys will arrive from school here shortly and they'll be very excited to see their little cousins. There are big plans for Christmas movies, toy pistols and the train set. I sort of have a menu plan and I've promised my children that I'll not experiment with new foods, especially soup (which they despise!)

 I know I shared that this would be recipe week, but little peeps take priority. I'll post a fabulous granola recipe tomorrow that can be made ahead of time and then packed in festive jars for homemade gift giving. Several have asked for the recipe and I'm happy to share. I'll post it when this little fella takes a nap (if I'm not taking one too!)

Speaking of which.......hummm. Nope, not enough time to squeeze a nap in......besides BS and her CJ might have a little too much fun. I can hear them giggling from her bedroom. So much for a nap time for the two of them!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck The Halls With Oreo Balls!

Please excuse the fuzzy picture........I'm blaming it on a sugar high! This UBER YUMMY recipe was shared by my friend Ann. In addition to her fabulous shopping talents, she's a mighty awesome cook! You'll also see here talents behind the lense, next week, when I post the Johnston Family Christmas Picture. If you are looking for a cre8tive, talented, fresh photographer, she's your girl! (Plus she's patient with kids and in my book that is HUGE!)

I think I gained at least 20 extra pounds during a recent overnight stay! I was only going to have just one of these but........we'll just say the ones on the left side, the peanut butter flavored ones, didn't make it past 11 pm! I'm not telling how many I ate (and Ann, when you read this, you need not share that information either! hahaha!)

This recipe is also meets my "fun, fast and flavorful" requirements. We'll be having these at Casa Johnston soon! YUMMM! So from Ann's kitchen, to my computer, here's how to make Oreo Balls

This recipe does come with a disclaimer--I am not responsible for any increase in pant size or addictions that may come from making these...

1 pkg of oreos--any flavor
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese
1 pkg of almond bark--any flavor

In food processor:
Crush oreos (pretty fine)
Add Cream Cheese-process until blended--watch this so it doesn't get too 'gooey
Form balls-place on waxed paper--chill for an hour at least

Dip into melted Almond Bark and sprinkle with colored sugars or sprinkles if you want! Be cre8tive...use flavored almond bark or drizzle with opposite color almond bark--Have fun!

I can promise these will not last long, especially with SPRINKLES!!! I'm off to buy supplies.

Time for Treats!

As promised, today begins with a fun, festive holiday recipe, sent by my friend, Lucy~

Strawberry Candy: 
3-3oz boxes of strawberry gelatin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
 1 pound coconut,
 colored toothpicks
green cake icing

Mix 2 1/2 boxes of the gelatin with the sweetened condensed milk and coconut.  Roll in shape of strawberry.  Roll in remaining 1/2 box of gelatin.  Insert round green tooth pick in the stem end.  Decorate in shape of leaves around stem using green cake icing.  Chill.  Freeze well.

Does this sound delicious and EASY?! It is definitely my kind of treat, fast and flavorful! These would be fun for school, church and other Christmas parties.......if they could make it out of my door! I would definitely have to create these "incognito".......or when BS is at Preschool.

In other news here at the Rafter Lazy H........many of my readers have requested a tree update! I've now posted pictures an facebook, the "Oh Christmas Tree" Album. You'll see Chad, aka "Clark W. Grizwald" has done it again. We have a gianormous tree, even bigger than last year! He found a large, full, beautiful white pine and we did (by the grace of God) get it in the front door! It sat vacant until last night; while I was in class, he and the kids commenced to decorate it. It's looking like the holidays around these parts!!! I will say that finding, cutting, hauling in a tree, getting it to stand straight and decorating it is A LOT of work. That said, it sure is the icing on our Christmas "cake"!

If you have a treat, gift, craft or holiday offering  you'd like to share this month, please send it my way!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Ho, Ho, Ho!

I couldn’t resist showing one of my early Christmas presents. This adorable vintage apron was a gift from one of my best friends, Ann. She is an amazing shopper! Of coarse I'd love anything that she got me and yet one of the things I most appreciate (and she knows this) are gifts from the heart. She’d seen my recent post about the vintage Christmas table cloth and found this apron on Esty shortly after. This adorable apron COMPLETELY MADE ME SMILE! It also reminded me...........I need to start holiday baking!!! So throw on those retro aprons, and head to the kitchen with me!

I have several, delicious recipes and decorating ideas from fabulous blog reader that I am excited to share this week! We have Cheesy bread, Strawberry Candy from Lucy, Ann’s Oreo Balls (I stuffed myself at Ann’s with these babies!) and an adorable family tree decorating idea from Betty! I'll post these ideas here on the Creative Cowgirl blog, so do check in daily! If you have ideas or comments to share, you can either comment below or send them via email (!

Today is my catch and straighten day. I’ll be presenting a Mindful Meditation class tonight in North Platte, designed to help us ease into flow of accelerated energies of the holiday season. I have a wonderful client coming tomorrow morning and numerous calls, tasks and to-do’s too boring to mention! Wednesday is my hunt and gather day, with a foot check-up and on Thursday, my three adorable nephews arrive to spend some time with us! We have friends coming over for supper Saturday and our church Christmas party is on Sunday. For some reason, I simply can’t recall what it was like to have any “downtime”! If you have any and would like to get rid of it, I’ll happily take it off of your hands!

Here’s wishing a fun, fabulous week! Stay healthy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Favorite Christmas CD's

I have a confession to make. I've started listening to Christmas music for a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. (Please don't anything at your computer screens, I can explain!)

Traditional Christmas music has a place in my heart and on my ipod near the 22nd to the 25th of December. I can take Deck The Halls and Rudolph for so only so long. Like eggnog, a little goes a LONG way.

I do love artists and melodies that convey the energy and essence of the winter season. I have searched far  and wide to find artists/albums are ones that I do not tire of. The following are my favorite ones. The voices are pure, beautiful and moves me into a higher state of opening to and embracing the essence and joy of winter. I have a feeling you may like them to.

1. Mediaeval Baebes~ Mistletor & Wine (anything with wine in the title has to be great doesn't it?!)

2. Enya~And Winter Came (Enya, enough said!)

3. Loreena McKennitt (my absolute "haunting and mysterious voice)

4. Michael Tilson Thomas~ Music To Your Ears (this is actually a collection of holiday music presented by At&T. I have no idea how or where it came from I think it might have been a Hallmark freebie/giveaway at one time. It includes Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, which I love!

5. The Ware Patterson Duo~An Angel's Noel (flute and guitar music)

6. Anna Maria Mendieta~Enchanted Christmas (harp and new chamber ensamble)

7. Home For the Holidays Disc A (my favorite "vintage tunes")

Please note I did note included Home For the Holidays, Disc B, because it has "All I Want For Christams is My Two Front Teeth. Two years ago my son's burned me out on the song. It is now banned from the ipod and any speakers in this home.

Enjoy the music and let the celebrations begin!
Happy Ho, Ho, Ho to you!